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Cancer Update: Grateful for the Gift of Life
At the end of August, just 6 weeks after Connie and I emerged from rafting through the Grand Canyon, I was diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma, with a large tumor in my spleen. Three weeks ago I began R-CHOP chemotherapy in Seattle. I'm to have six chemotherapy infusions over three months: every two weeks through the end of November. Then, if necessary, I'll undergo radiation or possibly surgery in December. Between now and the end of the year we're staying with dear friends on Whidbey Island who have an organic garden and orchard, lots of raspberries, and a great open view of the sky and the Olympic Mountains.
All things considered, Connie and I could not be doing better... Even though, statistically speaking (given the kind and size of cancer I have), I'll be fortunate to be alive in three years, we are living an extraordinarily peaceful pace of life and Connie is getting lots of creative work done. I'm getting some creative writing and organizing done too, but mostly I'm just taking time to read, sit in the garden, walk with Connie, watch David Christian's amazing Big History course again, and otherwise nourish body and soul. I'm also starting to learn how to do webinars and Maestro-confereces, and planning a couple of online courses I'll soon be offering (more on these later). I began losing my hair last week so Connie shaved me bald. All in all, we're having entirely too much fun (read on for juicy details)...
Even after only three chemotherapy infusions (the third was yesterday: Oct 15), which thankfully I've had no negative reaction to, my tumor has shrunk so much that I can hardly feel it anymore. I'm (obviously) rather ecstatic about this. I saw a physician in southern California in mid-June, prior to Connie's and my 300 mile, 8-day rafting trip down the Colorado River, through the Grand Caynon. As he felt into my abdomen, the doctor said, "well, it doesn't seem like your spleen is enlarged at all" and only two and a half months later the tumor measured 13 cm x 13 cm x 8 cm and was very easily felt! So the fact that it's now so small I can hardly feel it at all, after only two R-CHOP infusions, gives me much hope.
As another example of how well I'm doing, on September 24, only a week after my first infusion, Connie and I went to the North Cascade National Park (truly one of the most awesome places in North America, with the largest collection of glaciers in the lower 48 states!) and, while we had not originally planned to, ended up hiking 9.2 miles, with an elevation gain of 2,300 feet, from Colonial Campground to 4th of July Pass and back. I fully realize, of course, that just because my body had no toxic reaction and recovered fast after the first two infusions, this does not mean I will have quite as easy a time after my last few. Nor is anybody suggesting that there's a better than 50% chance I'll be alive in three years. Still, I'm hugely grateful for how things are going so far.
Our address through the end of this year is: 5246 Mutiny Bay Rd., Freeland, WA 98249.
As I mentioned in my first blog post about my cancer, if you happen to have skills or wisdom you'd be willing to share regarding online marketing, teleclasses, webinars, and so forth, please let me know. Since April 2002 we've been itinerant evolutionary evangelists. Now I'm needing to quickly learn how to be an Internet evolutionary evangelist.
Those who consider yourselves "Friends of Michael & Connie" can, if you wish, financially support our ministry through this vulnerable yet exciting transition time via a tax-decuctable donation, here. (Your love and generostity are greatly appreciated!)
Also, I invite you listen and subscribe to our new 30 minute weekly podcasts (free, of course) and take advantage of our DVD sales. We give you the right to burn as many copies of our DVDs as you'd like for others (or have Kinkos do so), which is a great way to share The Great Story perspective with your loved ones.
I will soon be offering free webinars, more in-depth online classes and will also be sending out weekly and daily inspirational messages to those who sign up for them. More on all of this in the November issue of EvoTimes.
Finally, (assuming I survive long enough), we would love to line up as many beautuful places as we can in 2010 and 2011 for writing retreats. I feel pregnant with twins: a short, practical book called "Evolutionize Your Life", and another, more substantial one, tentitively titled: "Big Integrity is Everything: Science, Sustainabily, and the Sacred". Connie also has a dozen or more creative projects she's passionate about. As you can well imagine, large-scale creative pursuits don't lend themselves to being completed when we have to shlepp books and boxes in and out of people's homes every 4-6 days, as we've done for most of the last seven and a half years. Thus, if you have a second home you'd allow us to use when you're not there, or if you are open to having us housesit while you are away for a few weeks or longer sometime in 2010 or 2011, please let us know: Michael(at)ThankGodforEvolution.com
Trusting the future and celebrating the divine gift of each day.
PS. Life really is short, and sacred. Cherish it, and be a blessing to someone today!